Woman who got Covid fine in ‘fit fellas’ hunt breaches rules second time

A woman caught breaking lockdown rules to look for "fit fellas" has been fined again after she told police she was driving two male passengers to a McDonald's.

Louise Whelan, 30, was pulled over after cops sniffed out a "strong smell" of cannabis wafting from a black Mercedes, the Liverpool Echo reports.

She claimed she was going to a McDonald's and was fined over breaching Covid restrictions in West Derby on November 12 last year.

Court documents said Whelan had been “struggling to stay between the white lines and there was a strong smell of cannabis emanating from the vehicle”.

It was a 30-minute drive from her home in Rankin Street, Poulton, and she had two male passengers despite lockdown rules preventing people gathering with people outside their household.

Whelan was previously fined £220 after being stopped while driving from Wirral to Liverpool on the evening of May 4 last year – which was during the first national lockdown.

Whelan, then 29, was unable to give a valid excuse for being on the road.

According to documents only now released by the courts, Whelan, from Wallasey, initially claimed she had been dropping her niece off and had been to the shops.

However, further enquiries by the police officer, PC David Cullen, revealed she had in fact been over to Liverpool.

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In the November case, when the officer approached Whelan's car to speak to her they said there was a "strong smell" and the man in the passenger seat admitted that he had recently smoked cannabis.

When questioned by PC Christopher Jude about the reason for her journey, she said she was going to McDonald’s.

There is a McDonald’s in Wallasey, significantly closer to her home in Poulton than West Derby.

PC Jude’s statement added: “I asked Whelan if she lived with the males who were in her vehicle with her. Whelan replied: ‘No none of us live together’.

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“I advised Whelan about the current lockdown and coronavirus restrictions and that people from different households could not meet or associate with each other. Whelan replied: ‘I’m not arsed, issue me a fine’.

“I tried to educate Whelan but she was dismissive of me and stated: ‘Just give me the fine’.”

Whelan did not respond to the summons so no evidence was given on her behalf.’

In a private hearing, magistrate James Long found Whelan guilty of breaching Covid laws by participating in an outdoor gathering of more than two people.

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As well as the £1,760 fine, Mr Long ordered Whelan to pay £100 in costs and a surcharge of £176 for victim services, resulting in a total fine of £2,036.

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